The heart of any home automation system is a convenient, all-inclusive control device, that lets you operate various components at the touch of a button. Each system will vary, but most are controlled by one or more of the following methods: a central keypad, a remote, a computer with special software, or even from outside the home, by telephone. An electronic 'address' or frequency is assigned to each item you want to control, such as light fixtures, thermostat, stereo, or vcr. Each code, or sequence of codes, is entered into the central control device. A button or phone call then allows you to activate the desired appliances. With computer-controlled setups, your monitor can display a virtual representation of your entire home, and appliances are operated from the computer keyboard. If you have certain rooms that you rarely use, you might want to consider an h-v-a-c multi-zone controller. This allows you to independently heat or cool various areas of the home, concentrating energy where you need it most. For more details on main controls for a home automation system, contact a home electronics specialist.
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